Mary Binegar was hard at work in the Harrison County YMCA this time last year trying to make preparations for the organization's annual 5K race. But as she was getting ready, last year's derecho began to blow through Harrison County, taking many, including her, by surprise.
"No, I don't think anybody had any idea what was coming. While I was working, the other helpers were looking outside and the rain was going sideways. I looked out and got right back to work because I was so busy trying to get everything ready, but no clue," Binegar said.
After the storm passed, people throughout the region were all hunting for supplies. While many gas stations around the area had no power, or were just out of gas, the Robin's Nest Travel Center in Jane Lew had both. And to look at it today, you'd never know just how busy they were the next day.
"Basically, we were the only station outside of the Jackson's Mill Corner Mart that had gas, and we had them backed up to the interstate for Saturday and Sunday," said Ray Smith, an employee at the travel center..
The storm left hundreds of thousands without power across the state, but amid the rush for generators and gas, communities throughout the affected areas came together to get their neighbors taken care of. Lewis County Commission President Pat Boyle said he was happy to see how well people worked together in the crisis.
"People in the area showed they still had love for their neighbor. Sometimes we all question that, we don't know our neighbors, nobody socializes very much, no one visits, but it proved to us that what a disaster like this happens, people, one more time, come together," Boyle said.
He said the next time a storm comes around, he and Lewis County will be ready.
"We prepared ourselves and went over all the issues where we were weak last year when all this happened, and now we got ourselves in a better position. I'm not saying there's not going to be glitches in the wheel, there's always going to be something we can learn, needless to say that's just part of life. But the key to it is we're better prepared for another storm to happen," said Boyle.